Berlin Battered By Storm Winds

Berlin

BERLIN — A brief but intense storm rolled through Berlin on Sunday, damaging trees throughout town and causing extensive damage to Stephen Decatur Park’s pavilion.
The localized hit to the park was unexpected but should be cleared up quickly, according to Mayor Gee Williams, who added the rest of Berlin saw little impact.
“At least to my knowledge, any property damage was limited to the public property in the park, which, in the overall scheme of things, is probably as good as we could have hoped,” Williams said.
The bluster that struck the park Sunday tore down numerous branches and damaged a number of trees, some seriously. Outside of the park on the edge of Route 113, crews noticed that at least one tree seems to have been uprooted.
The park’s pavilion also took a beating from the storm and now sports a few holes, some roughly a foot or more in diameter, in its roof. Williams was at the park Tuesday to survey the damage and expects a report from public works at the Town Council’s meeting next week. He estimated that the gazebo repairs could have a four-figure price tag but confirmed that the town plans ahead for such situations.
“Whatever it is, I anticipate that it’s a few thousand dollars and some repairs are always budgeted into anything we own so we would proceed immediately, I’m sure,” said the mayor.
Williams expects the structure will be restored in the near future.
“It’s not going to be a question of whether we fix the gazebo, it’s just how quickly and what’s the proper way of going about it,” he said.
Crews were out at the park early this week cleaning up scattered limbs and debris. Williams praised the job they did in quickly removing the signs of the storm.
“They really love what they do and they take a lot of pride in it,” he said.
Aside from the park, Williams reported that the rest of the town was spared significant damage.
“It looked like a wind shear. It was very narrow, very intense but not very long,” he said. “So even though we got some pretty good winds throughout the town, apparently the most intense were [at the park].”
The storm also brought minor flooding to a few areas, which is par for the course in Berlin. However, Williams said that the town’s early efforts to address storm water seem to be bearing fruit, with a few rain gardens that have been established in Berlin offering their surroundings a degree of protection.
“It’s encouraging. Nobody really doubted them but it’s nice to see that they work,” he said.

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